County of Santa Barbara Long Range Planning Division

Gaviota Coast Scenic Highway


Scenic Highway Designation Approved by Caltrans


Caltrans approved the Gaviota Coast section of Highway 101 as a State Scenic Highway in December of 2016. This designation was made possible by the County of Santa Barbara's coastal visual policies, California State Parks; natural and cultural preservation mandates, and the local community's effort and involvement over many years to protect the scenic quality along the Gaviota Coast. Designation as a State Scenic Highway affirms that scenic vistas along Santa Barbara County's highways are a valuable resource to our community. The designation was made possible by a partnership that included the Gaviota Coast Conservancy, the Santa Barbara County Planning and Development Department, 3rd District Supervisor Doreen Farr, and the Caltrans Landscape Architecture Division.

Caltrans Announcement:
Announcing California's newest State Scenic Highway: Gaviota Coast State Scenic Highway

Local media:
Gaviota Coast Receives Designation as State Scenic Highway

Gaviota Coast Officially Designated State Scenic Highway Status



On April 10, 2015 the Board of Supervisors directed the Long Range Planning Division of Planning and Development to prepare and submit a proposal for State Scenic Highway status for Highway 101 on the Gaviota Coast. The proposed State Scenic Highway designation would run for 21 miles of Highway 101 on the Gaviota Coast, from the City of Goleta's western-most boundary to Route 1 at Las Cruces.

The State Scenic Highway Program is managed by Caltrans and is intended to preserve and showcase scenic landscapes along California highway corridors. Designated Scenic Highways require the presence of outstanding natural beauty or agricultural landscapes, minimal visual intrusions (e.g. man-made structures and signs), and strong local support.

The proposed Gaviota Coast Scenic Highway Desgination is intended to highlight and promote the natural and visual resources unique to the Gaviota Coast. No new land use policies or ordinances will be adopted in association with the Scenic Highway Designation; existing policies and ordinances are sufficient.

Past Public Meetings

Board of Supervisors Hearing Related Documents

Date: Tuesday, October 4, 2016
Location: County Administration Building, Board Hearing Room, 105 E. Anapamu St., Fourth Floor, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Agenda (link to BOS website)
Public Notice

Public Meeting Related Documents

Date: Thursday, August 18, 2016
Time: 6:00 p.m.
Location: Goleta Union School District, Jack Kramer Administration Center, 401 North Fairview Avenue, Goleta, CA 93117



Gaviota Coast Panoramic Video




Gaviota Coast State Scenic Highway Proposal

The County of Santa Barbara's State Scenic Highway proposal was submitted to Caltrans on October 7, 2016. The document in its entirety can be found here. The Final Application Packet contains the following documents:

Document Description
Visual Assessment Identifies scenic attributes and visual intrusions along the proposed Scenic Corridor.
Corridor Protection Plan Description of currently existing county-wide and coastal zone land use ordinances and policies that address: development, site planning, advertising, landscaping, and structure design.
Maps (1, 2, 3) Imagery depicting zoning, visual intrusions, and topography along the proposed Scenic Corridor.
Letter of Intent & Letters of Support Letters from the County of Santa Barbara & supportive organizations.











Useful Links

Caltrans State Scenic Highway Program
State Scenic Highway FAQ
State Scenic Highway Guidelines (pdf)


Mindy Fogg, Supervising Planner:
Selena Evilsizor, Planner: